Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Vegetarians and Vegans … Are they really healthier?

My son, Alexander, is a very strict Vegetarian and has been for quite some time now … about 6-7 years.  At one point he was a strict Vegan but that lifestyle proved to be unhealthy for him.    He may not like me writing about this but after eating out with him and his wife at a Vegan restaurant, I felt the need to blog about Vegetarians and Vegans.
First let me say, I totally respect Vegetarians and Vegans … eating lots of veggies is a good thing. This isn’t to say that there aren’t lots of good vegetarian and vegan foods out there … there are … I just need my meat. =)  NOTE: Now I do believe our meats have become tainted (for lack of a better word) with steroids and anti-biotics and other chemicals and that organic meat is better for you though hard to find and certainly more expensive.  AND our fruits and vegetables now being GE (Genetically Engineered) or GM (Genetically Modified) are not good for us (it’s a proven fact) and that organic is best but again harder to find and more expensive.  But that’s a discussion for another blog.

Alex, from a very early age, never really liked meat except for seafood, he did love his seafood, and often I said (probably out loud and I may have even influenced his decision to become a Vegetarian by my saying it so often) that he could easily become a Vegetarian when he grew up.  He loved his veggies!!  Well he did.

For those of you who may not know the difference between the two ~ here’s an explanation:

VEGETARIANS eat NO meat (no beef, no pork, no chicken … AND no seafood … no meat period) though they DO eat meat bi-products such as eggs, cheese, milk, ice cream, butter, yogurt and other dairy.  If you hear someone call themselves a Vegetarian yet they eat fish or seafood or even chicken … they are not true Vegetarians.  No meat whatsoever is eaten by a true Vegetarian ONLY exception is animal bi-products as I just mentioned.

VEGANS eat NO meat and NO meat bi-products whatsoever.  So again if you hear someone call themselves a Vegan yet they eat dairy products, they are NOT Vegans they are Vegetarians.  There IS a difference.

Now … knowing this, what is your perception of how a Vegetarian or Vegan is built?  Healthy slim figures?  Healthy glow to the skin?  Physically fit?  Healthy looking?  This was mine BEFORE I ate at a Vegan restaurant.

What changed my opinion was merely walking in the door of the Vegan restaurant and seeing the owners/cooks.  Whew!  My perception was wrong!!!  Why, you may ask?!?  LOL

Now in this particular Vegan restaurant the owners/cooks were Jamaican so the entire menu was Jamaican influenced Vegan dishes.  I’m sure not all Vegan restaurants have Jamaican influenced menus.  The ENTIRE menu was Vegan from the French fries and what they were fried in to the Chili Burgers to the Mac and Yease (don’t ask me what ‘yease’ is lol) on down to the Vegan ice cream and cheeses.  I actually ate the Sweet Potato Fries and Chili Burger oh but don’t be confused by the word ‘burger’.  The Chili (which you could order as a side also) was made as normal Chili is yet the meat part of it was Tofu.  Now I’m not talking the gooey, mushy, watery Tofu you may be thinking of … no this was awesome Tofu … seasoned and closely resembling the texture of real meat but not quite.  And no meat flavor … just spiced up tofu.  The ‘burger’ portion was a slice of perfectly seasoned Tofu that had been grilled.  It was actually very delicious!

Now back to the shocker … the owners/cooks, who were extremely friendly and gracious, were enormously overweight … I’m talking Biggest Loser material here folks … grossly obese.  Seeing this just blew my opinion of Vegetarians and Vegans as being healthy looking people.  NOT!  Obviously, as we all know, eating healthy is a good thing BUT as was proven to me when I visited this Vegan restaurant … like anything else … too much of a good thing and you become very unhealthy and grossly overweight.

Moral of my story?  Too much of the good healthy food is just as bad as eating unhealthy food choices. Moderation!  Everything in moderation!  AND … Portion control!  No matter what your eating choices are … MODERATION and PORTION CONTROL!

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